Our long anticipated family vacation to Hawaii was a BLAST... for the kids. Before stepping foot on the airplane, I had some really grand plans. The content I'd be able to create, all the places we'd be able to visit (I had a list and some locations saved to an Instagram collection), our long days hanging out at the beach, mini hikes, cultural excursions, etc. Lemme tell you, NONE of that happened. We were able to get to our favorite beaches - Waimea Bay & Kailua Beach Park, but they were much shorter visits (3 hours or less) than what Dre and I would usually do, but spent the most of our time at our hotel.
Fortunately, our accommodations were more than adequate for the 6 of us (my mom travelled with us), so spending time in our 2br/2ba condos didn't feel cramped or overwhelming, but on the first few days of our trip, I will admit that I had some anxiety about not being able to create the gorgeous content I had been hoping for. I pretty much gave up on it by day 3, and let go of all those expectations so that I could make sure the kids had the vacation THEY wanted. And honestly, all they wanted was a little time at the beach, LOTS of time relaxing at our hotel, whatever sweets and snacks they could get their hands on and a little bit of time at the pool. They couldn't care less about pictures or exploring areas of the island with us. By the end of the trip, my only concern was ensuring that they enjoyed themselves, and had a vacation that they'd always remember.
It's almost embarrassing for me to even admit this, but I was not well-prepared for this trip at all. While I had done a great job at packing everyone into carry-ons, making sure our hotels, car rentals and flights were all booked, I didn't quite prepare myself for the hectic travel life of a party of six. I didn't plan our days adequately, or account for feeding time for the baby, or making sure we had enough snacks, changes of clothes for everyone before heading out... so many things. I don't know why I didn't expect that traveling with 3 kids would be so much different from traveling with just 1 or 2 (which we've done several times!).
Our first stop was Maui, where we stayed at the Aina Nalu Lahaina by Outrigger. I didn't realize it until we got there, but the condos are individually owned, so no two will look alike.
- Adequate amount of space for the six of us
- Pool was fantastic,
- Within walking distance to historic Lahaina town
- Less than 15 minute drive to nearby beaches
- Too many adhoc costs!! Parking (which you expect to pay for in Hawaii, room cleaning, extra towels, a crib for the baby - ALL EXTRA!)
- The air conditioners were on a timer, and would only run for 4 hours at a time
- Small living room space, bedrooms were on the smaller side as well
- Large resort, and the front desk person did not give much direction when it came to finding our room
Next, we went to my favorite island, O'ahu. Although Waikiki has changed significantly since my first visit more than 20 years ago, I still get nostalgic when walking down Kalakaua Avenue, thinking about how much fun we had on that firs trip. We stayed at a timeshare resort thanks to my mother purchasing some points - the Wyndham Beach Walk. Even though we arrived in the late evening, this resort was much more accommodating than our previous one. The kids were immediately excited about the game room, ping pong table and pool, all on the main level, and when we got up to the room, were even more excited about how spacious our room was. Of course, non-planning Nancy didn't even take pictures of our room before it got "lived in" - but to my defense, we didn't check in until around 8pm HST.
We all absolutely loved the Wyndham Beach Walk Resort. The 2 br/2ba condo-style room had more than enough room for us, and unlike the Outrigger, we didn't have to pay for any of the extras. We had 2 double beds in one room and a King size bed (and ensuite bath) in the other.
- Ample space for our party of 6
- 3 balconies
- Comfy pull-out bed for the kids to share
- Attentive and accommodating staff
I honestly can't think of many CONS to share!
The morning after our arrival, the kids and I took some time to walk around Waikiki while Dre went on a run. We decided to stay local and hit up Waikiki Beach . The next day was a little cloudy, so we took my mom with us for a bit of sightseeing. Over the next couple of days, we ventured over to the North Shore, where the kids got to see some sea turtles and we spent a few hours at Waimea Bay and also took a trip to Kailua where I found the CUTEST little shop, selling all the prints my little heart could ever desire, and we splashed around in the waters of Kailua Beach Park.
All in all, we did have a really awesome trip. It was rewarding for me to see Christian and Chloe have such a great time and make so many memories with each other. Hopefully it is a vacation they will never forget.